A review of our September visit - by Beryl Plent

Society members enjoyed a satisfying and SUNNY! visit to Sudley House on 21st of September. Built in the early 19th century, it is a classical style house of red sandstone in a sylvan setting and was, from 1884 to 1896, the family home of George Holt, founder of the shipping line Lamport & Holt. On entering there is a sensation of stepping back in time as the ground floor rooms, containing the works of art collected by Holt, appear much as they did in the late 1880's. Our tour guide regaled us with the stories behind certain pictures in each room. Details of the artist, the paintings subject and the symbolism contained in some works were explained.

Pre-Raphaelites were represented by John E. Millais and Holman Hunt - romantic classicism by Lord Leighton. The most important pictures were acquired after 1884, amongst them splendid portraits by Gainsborough, Sir H. Raeburn and Joshua Reynolds as well as the two atmospheric landscapes by J.M.W. Turner, bought in 1886 and 1888. Emma Holt's bequest to the city of Liverpool, in 1944, of Sudley House, together with 148 of her father's paintings, ensured this singular collection remained intact to be enjoyed by all.

[Several members have expressed their appreciation of this summer's two special outings, and in particular their thanks to our hosts, the Lancaster Civic Society and the National Museums Liverpool - Ed.]

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